The Sounds of Swaziland

The Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (MSCs) have been serving at St. Philip’s Mission in the lowveld region of Swaziland since 1971. The MSCs established Cabrini Hostel as a direct response to the high rate of children orphaned by AIDS.  The Hostel is designed to help children stay connected to and rooted in the lives of their families and homesteads, and great emphasis is focused on nurturing the childrens’ Swazi identity.  Swazis have a rich tradition of music and dance. According to The Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life,  Swazi ceremonial music has been unaffected by Western influence and retains a distinctive individual style which sets it apart from that of related ethnic groups. Swazi women sing together as they work in groups on tasks such as digging or weeding, and men sing together as they pay tribute to their chiefs or past and present kings. Celebrants also perform special songs at weddings, royal rituals, coming-of-age ceremonies, and national Independence Day festivities.  Following is a video of the chorus at Cabrini Mission.  The video was created by Miss Crystal Catalan who worked at the mission in August and September.  Cabrini Ministries Choir

Sources:  Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Province Ministries and “Swazis.” Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life. Ed. Timothy L. Gall and Jeneen Hobby. 2nd ed. Vol. 1: Africa. Detroit: Gale, 2009. 525-530. Gale Virtual Reference Library

Submitted by:  A. Schwelm, Assistant Library Director

This entry was posted in Together on the Journey: News from the Missionary Sisters. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Sounds of Swaziland

  1. Susan Pierson says:

    The children sing so beautifully. I loved seeing familiar faces in the choir.

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